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Editorial - Eras Journal - Edition Thirteen, Issue 1 - December 2011

We are proud to present Issue 1 of the thirteenth edition of Eras, the fully refereed online journal edited and produced by postgraduates from Monash University’s School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies. 

We received a large number of submissions again this year so we have decided to publish the successful articles in two issues. This first issue contains a variety of articles covering history, memory, politics, identity and religion. Eras exists to provide an international forum for current and recently completed postgraduates to present their research on topics related to the disciplines of the School, so it is satisfying to see the range of papers we are able to publish. Specifically, this edition includes two papers on the broad area of ethnicity and identity, one on rape and suicide, and two that are very interdisciplinary and include elements of philosophy, economics and the media.

Fang Yu Hu provides an analysis of Japanese education policy in 20th century Taiwan through the lenses of gender and colonialism. Her discussion of the stories of seven women evaluates  factors affecting their educational and career choices and shows how these women did not conform completely to the imperial government’s ideal.

Damian Nemirovsky gives us a tantalizing glimpse into the Jewish-Argentine experience at home and abroad from the 1960s to the 1980s. He analyses the experiences of several people in Argentina and Mexico and shows how exclusion defined the identities of these people in both countries. His paper is especially relevant given current debates about migration and multiculturalism.

In a very interdisciplinary paper which also focuses on a Latin American country (Chile), Akshaya Kumar discusses ways to understand historical events, particularly the relationship between photograph and memory, truth and documentary cinema. By analyzing two important documentary films by Patricio Guzman, the paper attempts to make sense of the political, memorial, and historical transformations between the rise of Salvador Allende (and his subsequent murder in the coup), and the next generation separated by around twenty years.

In another interdisciplinary paper, Matthew Bloom draws on historic evidence to develop a new paradigm of regional economic change, named the subregional model, which includes a hub, local economic centers, small villages and farms, and links of various qualities. He discusses issues of urban-rural connection and the role of transport in the history of subregional development.

Finally, Joan Stivala presents a provocative paper on a sensitive issue. She draws on the story of Lucretia, and the writings of Livy, Seneca, Augustine, Tertullian and others, to compare classical pagan and early Christian views on the desirability of suicide for women after rape. This is sure to draw comments.

In addition to the refereed articles, this issue includes seven reviews of recent publications and we would like to express our thanks to those publishers who provided us with free review copies.

The publication of Eras is very much a collaborative process and this year’s committee members Natasha Amendola, Hannah Fulton, Anne Holloway, Steve Joyce, and Kathy Shaw, have all work hard and professionally.  I would especially like to thank Natasha for not only being the reviews editor but also a source of much wisdom.  Thanks also to Kerrie Alexander for publishing the edition on the web, and to the entire staff of the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies for their advice and support.

Over and above a committee of editors, a refereed journal relies heavily upon two groups from the scholarly world for its survival – authors to submit articles, and academics to act as referees.  Many thanks to both groups, but particularly to those academics who wrote lengthy and discerning review reports that enabled the relevant authors to progress his or her research much more rapidly than would otherwise have been the case.

We are also grateful to all of the past editors – without your passion for postgraduate publication there would be no Eras, and we would not have had the opportunity to learn the craft of the editor – a craft that widens our horizons and can only make our own writing better.

Enjoy Issue 1 of Edition 13; we believe it to be a very stimulating collection of writings and look forward to bringing Issue 2 to you in April or May 2012. We also look forward to your responses to our publication. To facilitate this feedback, Eras has a discussion forum relating to the articles published in each edition. Feel free to email us your comments which will be reviewed by the Eras editorial committee. Provided the comment is reasonable, the email will be published on our site and we hope that authors and other readers will participate in the ensuing debate. In this way, Eras provides postgraduate students with immediate academic feedback about their work and encourages dialogue in our various fields of interest. We anticipate that this forum will stimulate lively debate about topical issues that are raised in this edition.

John D’Alton
Managing Editor